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News Release

October 31, 2006
For Print (PDF 95KB)

Eisai Launches New Rx-to-OTC Switch Product Higuard(R) for Allergy-related Rhinitis and Skin Problems

Eisai Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo, President and CEO: Haruo Naito) announced today the launch of its new Rx-to-OTC switch product Higuard(R) for allergic-related rhinitis and skin problems on November 1, 2006.

Higuard(R) is the first Rx-to-OTC switch product of azelastine hydrochloride, an anti-allergy compound originally approved for prescription use. The product is also effective in alleviating allergyc symptoms including rhinitis caused by pollens or house dusts and skin problems such as utricaria and eczema.

The active ingredient of Higuard(R) azelastine hydrochloride exhibits anti-allergic effects by inhibiting and releasing leukotriens and histamine that cause allergy, relieving allergic symptoms including rhinitis (sneezing, runny and stuffy nose) and skin problems (urticaria, eczema, etc) . It is recommended that patients with seasonal allergic diseases be started on Higuard(R) immediately before the beginning of the season to maximize the effect.

According to the consumer survey* conducted by Eisai, more than 50 percent of the people who suffer from pollen allergy answered that they constantly feel itching of skin, and 70 percent said that they experience allergic problems all year. Higuard(R) is expected to serve the needs of such people acting on both rhinitis and skin problems.

Eisai works to further develop the consumer health market by positioning the new Rx-to-OTC switch product Higuard(R) as all-season allergic product while contributing to increasing benefits to patients and their families.

[Please refer to the following notes for glossary, product information, and package image]

   *  The consumer survey on seasonal allergy conducted in June 2006 with 199 men and women aged between 20's and 40's.

Corporate Communications Department
Eisai Co., Ltd.
TEL: +81-3-3817-5036

< Note to Editors >


Rx-to-OTC switch product :
A pharmaceutical product whose active ingredient is transferred from prescription use to over-the-counter drugs for easier access by patients at general pharmacies and drug stores.

Histamine, leukotriene :
Chemical transmission substance released on the surface of gemastete cells by uniting antibody and antigen. The released chemical transmission substance causes rhinitis or skin symptoms, by irritating blood vessels and nerves. Histamine irritates nerves and induces pruritus, sneeze and runny nose, while leukotriene could be the causative agent for puffiness of the skin and stuffy nose causing blood circulation disorder irritating blood vessels directly not through nerves.

Product Information

Product name : Higuard(R)
Ingredient :
  • Active ingredients:  azelastine hydrochloride - 2mg (in the daily dosage for adult, 4 tablets)
  • Additives:  talc, precipitated calcium carbonate, corn starch, lactose, hydroxypropylcellulose, carnauba wax, titanium oxide, yellow iron sesquioxide, stearic acid, magnesium stearate, shellac, microcrystalline cellulose, hydrated silicon dioxide, sucrose, pullulan, povidone, macrogol 6000
Indications :
  • Alleviation of allergic rhinitis due to pollens or house dust, etc. (i.e. sneeze, runny nose, stuffed nose)
  • Alleviation of skin problems due to allergy (i.e. urticaria, eczema, rash, node, itching)
Dosage and Administration :
2 tablets, twice a day shall be administered by adults (15 years and above) with water or hot water after breakfast and before bedtime. Patients should discontinue the use of the drug and consult with a doctor or a pharmacist when no improvement in symptoms is seen after continuous administration (1 week for rhinitis, 3 days for skin problems).

It is recommended that patients with seasonal allergic diseases (by pollens) be started on Higuard(R) immediately before the beginning of the unfavorable season to maximize the drug effect.

Recommended retail price (tax included) :
24 Tablet package    1,260 Yen
48 Tablet package    2,415 Yen

Manufactured and Marketed by :
Eisai Co., Ltd.
Higuard ® Package image
Higuard(R) Package image